When I grow Up I want to be ………………..

I was about seven the first time I fell in love.

He was a quiet sort of soul.

He remained in my life for about 9 or 10 years.

It was his presence that set me on a journey of wanting to know more. His quiet yet enduring presence that has led me to where I am today.

His name was Falkor………………..

I named him after the lucky dragon in “The Never Ending Story” one of my favourite childhood movies. I was also a little bit in love with Atreyu the boy who rode around on Falkor the dragon.  Anyway back to Falkor, he had a shapely caudal fin, a fine dorsal fin and velvety skin. He was quite handsome in my eyes. Others might have seen him as googly eyed and slimy.

He was a goldfish of course. I remember sitting quietly staring at this creature swimming around and around his small glass bowl. I wanted to know more about him. What was he thinking?  How was he breathing? How does he swim?

Before Falkor came into my life I wanted very badly to be a doctor. A medical doctor working in a hospital with children. I was quite sick as a child with asthma and spent a lot of time in and out of hospital. I remember having an oxygen tent around my hospital bed. I remember having electrodes on my chest and looking up at my parents very worried faces. I remember the yellow ducklings the radiologists asked me to look at while I was having my chest x-rays.

However  I think I soon realised to become a doctor I had to be pretty clever and I had to study lots. I was average in school and I was pretty lazy when it came to study.

So there I was a seven year old quiet girl staring at my goldfish. From that day on I became a bit obsessed with fish. I read books and learned about how their gills worked and that they had a “swim bladder” inside to help in buoyancy regulation. All things water and fish I wanted to know about.

When it came time to apply for university courses in my final year at school. My best friend told me she had found the perfect course for me. It was a certificate in Aquatic Science. It was in Donegal which was a 4 hour hell of a bus journey from where I lived. So I headed off to study all things water. I could probably write a book about all the fun I had there. I loved every bit of my course. It was so interesting. I then carried on to do a Diploma in Applied Aquatic Science followed by an Honours Degree in Marine Science.

So who knew that a little goldfish could make such an impression on someone.

Here I am thirty years later. I now have a job in the fishy field. It is a very interesting field to work in. We still know so little. It is novel and new and exciting.

Honours is only as far as I have gone. I perhaps will have a chance to do a PhD in a couple of years when my boys are in full time school. I am afraid if I do a PhD I could not continue to perform to that level at which is expected with a Doctorate. I also worry that I would be doing myself out of a job. As we already have too many Chief’s.

I am also torn.

There is a creative side to me. That has lots of ideas. I love to sit at my desk in my bedroom and write stuff. Anything, stories, blog posts ideas. I love taking pictures. I have ideas of studying photography. These are things I think fulfill me more than scientific study.

Science is extremely interesting to me and If I did not have such an interest in it I don’t think I would have survived all that study. As I said I am lazy and I believe I am not a true scientist. I don’t think I have that critical thinking down pat. I am more of a dreamer. I am not a quick on the spot thinker. Which is probably why I never became a medical doctor. It has been interest and determination that has carried me through thus far.

I have come across stories lately of people who reach middle age and start to rethink their career. Some bite the bullet and go for a complete career change. That takes guts.

While I don’t think I want a total career change. I feel a little bit like I am questioning what I want to be when I grow up??  I am torn between the creative and the scientific. How lucky am I to have so many choices and opportunities open to me. I am grateful for the position I am in right now. However I know with my current job I would become bored if I was to stay in it forever more. It is hard to progress in science unless you do have that doctorate or unless you move to HR and that is not even a consideration for me I know I would not enjoy HR.


How did you know what you wanted to be?
Do you think I could do it all. PhD, Photography, writing?
Do you think you reach a point in your career when you say I am where I want to be. Or is it just our nature to continue to want more and more.

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